40 pc of applicants give PDO exam a miss

The increasing instances of harassments of Panchayat Development Officers (PDOs), with two of them committing suicide, and the resignation of 272 PDOs, seem to have had a discouraging effect on aspirants for the posts.

The Karnataka Public Service Commission (KPSC) had conducted a competitive examination to fill 1,364 posts of PDOs in the Gram Panchayats (GPs) of the State. As many as 2,12,814 candidates had applied for the posts, but only 1,47,360 of them turned up for the exams.

The exams were held in 573 centres in 29 district headquarters and absence of candidates was reported from most centres.

The number of centres was the least in Madikeri at five and highest in Bangalore Urban district with 71 centres. The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR) Department had conducted direct recruitment of 2,500 PDOs last year. These were newly created posts and the PDOs faced wanton harassment at the hands of the GP Presidents and members.

One PDO each committed suicide in the districts of Bidar and Gulbarga, besides a number of instances of attacks on the officers in many places.

The reason for 65,454 candidates not taking the exams is said to be the unsavoury incidents occurring for the past four to five months, felt an officer of KPSC. The Commission will first publish the key answers, after which candidates can submit objections, if any. The evaluation will take place thereafter. The PDO selection is likely to be published by January end.

Candidates were not allowed to come out of the exam hall till the completion of the three-hour exam. They were also not allowed to take the question papers outside. There was just one incident of a couple of candidates exchanging the question papers.

Meanwhile, a total of nearly 1.4 lakh candidates have applied for the 352 posts of gazetted probationary officers in various departments, and the process of applying has been completed. The selection list of candidates for the posts of first division assistants has been published. Objections have been invited from the candidates. The final list would be published in a week.

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